May 24, 2017

Shrimp Risotto Part II, This Time with Amaebi (Sweet Shrimp)

After taking a series of food pictures, I just realized that I've made similar risotto before, and even wrote about it. The ingredients used are about the same, especially the umami-packed homemade shrimp stock. However, instead of adding seared shrimps, the key ingredient under the spotlight has swapped out with sushi grade raw shrimps. 

Amaebi, or sweet shrimp, just by changing the cooked ingredient to raw ingredient, the flavors of the risotto did change slightly. Less savory note but bumped up the sweetness level. Compare the two recipes and see which one fits your palate, or perhaps just make two versions at once?

Shrimp risotto with raw sweet shrimp - 

Ingredients (for 2 to 3 portions)?

  • 1 cup Acquerello or Arborio rice
  • 3 cups shrimp stock
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 6 sweet shrimp
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Some flat leaf parsley


Warm up the stock on the side. You can use store-bought shrimp or lobster stock, but why not make it yourself?

Drizzle some olive oil to a big pan or enameled cast iron pot. Turn to medium high heat and add in peeled, chopped shallots and salt. Cook till the shallots start to turn translucent.

Pour in the rice, give it a quick stir and make sure each single grain is coated with olive oil. 

Sear for about a minute or less then start to pour in warm stock one or two ladles at a time. Make sure to stir the mixture once a while. About half way through, pour in dry white wine and continue to cook the risotto. Keep adding small amount of stock till the grains reach desired texture. The amount of liquid used in this recipe yields al dente rice, but on a slightly chewier side.

Taste the risotto and see if more salt is needed. Turn off the heat and add the butter and lemon zest to the risotto, give it a few stir and the grains will start to shine.

Halve the raw shrimp and remove the veins if any. Plate the risotto. Garnish with halved shrimp and some flat-leaf parsley. One delicious suggestion, take the parsley and turn it into a simple herb oil or pesto. Drizzle the parsley infused oil over risotto for a level up flavor boost.

My other version of shrimp risotto was finished off with grated Parmigiano Reggiano, but not here. The highly savory cheese will hinder the crisp taste from the sweet shrimp. However, you can always devour the sweet shrimp with some risotto first then generously grate a ton of cheese over the grains if you'd like. Whatever you like as long as this food makes you happy.

Other risotto recipes:

May 18, 2017

Quick and Easy Tomato Chicken Stew

Even though the key ingredients here are tomato, chicken, and chicken soup, but in fact it's the cilantro that make this dish shine. 

I didn't expect that a small bundle of leftover cilantro can greatly enhance the flavors. This dish provides warmth from the chicken stock and a pop of refreshing aroma from the herbs. And one extra point - nearly zero food waste, even the cilantro stems were chopped up into the stew.

Quick and easy tomato chicken stew - 


  • 0.5 lb chicken tenders
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cabbage
  • 1 pack maitake mushroom
  • 1 box of semi-firm tofu
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 small bundle cilantro
  • Some chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 tablespoon grated or finely chopped ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Some black pepper


Cut the chicken tenders into 2 or 3 smaller pieces. Peel and roughly chop the garlic cloves. Drain and slice the tofu into about half inch pieces. Tear the cabbage into smaller pieces. Finely chop the cilantro and separate the stems and leafy parts. 

Drizzle some olive oil to the pot and turn to medium high heat. Add in the garlic along with some salt and pepper. Cook till the garlic turns slightly browned but not burnt.

Add in chicken pieces and sear till slightly colored on the surface.

Add in grated ginger and let it cook for about 30 seconds, till aromatic. Pour in soy sauce, mirin, and chopped cilantro stems. Give it a quick stir then add in the mushrooms. Cook for another minute or two then top with cabbage. The cabbage might appear overflowing the pot, but it will start to wilt after few minutes.

Once the cabbage wilts and easier to mix with other ingredients, gently transfer the tofu into the pot. Drain the canned tomatoes then pour into the mixture. Also pour in some chicken stock, just enough for the liquid to go slightly above all the ingredients, but use more stock if soupier texture is preferred. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to keep it at a simmer for another 10 minutes.

Sprinkle some chopped cilantro leaves right before serving. 

Fresh tomatoes are doable too, but sometimes the canned version binds better in a stew, and doesn't take long to cook. If using fresh tomatoes, it might take a while to turn soft with center texture almost melts in the stew.

Other stew recipes with tons of veggies: